10 Day Devotional Challenge – Day 2

For the next several days, I will be hosting a 10 Day Devotional Challenge. You can read the posts here and comment below to discuss what you’ve read. You may also join the discussion in my Equipped Facebook Group. If you don’t already have a copy of my book, Equipped, you can purchase it at mybook.to/Equipped or ask for it at your local bookstore. For a discount on quantity orders (10 copies or more), please contact me at RuthLSnyder at me dot com.

Our Shepherd

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

—John 10:11

Just two days after our twin boys were placed with us for adoption, I drove eighteen-month-old Levi to Edmonton to have tubes inserted into his ears. He was too young to understand what was happening, but I read and played with him, so he was relaxed. I was able to go into the operating room with him while he was sedated. Then I returned to the waiting area. When the nurses paged me, I rushed to the recovery area. I heard a child weeping. It was Levi. The nurse handed him to me and I snuggled him in my arms. He stopped crying immediately. Somehow, he sensed he was safe with me.

Just as Levi felt safe with me, sheep feel safe with their Shepherd. Did you know that people are a lot like sheep? According to Abigail Geer, President of Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary (a nonprofit safe haven for rescued farm animals in Spain), sheep have the following characteristics.

Sheep:

•Are very independent

•Get jealous of each other

•Love cuddles

•Come running when you call their name

•Remember people

•Can carry emotional baggage

•Grieve for their loved ones

•Love to sunbathe

•Self-medicate

•Can know when you’re up to something

Which characteristics of sheep do you see in yourself? Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd. As our Shepherd, Jesus knows us intimately and meets our needs:

. We all know how reassuring it is when someone knows us well and calls us by our name. God created us. Jesus knows our thoughts. He understands our needs. And he calls us by name to follow him and receive all the blessings he has planned for us.

Jesus died to save us (John 10:14). Jesus lived a perfect life. He did not have to die; he chose to die―for us. Jesus knew that we could not save ourselves.

Jesus meets our needs (Psalm 23:1). He knows what we need, better than we know ourselves. Jesus met physical needs by feeding people and healing people. He also understood emotional needs―weeping before he raised Lazarus (John 11:35).

Jesus calms our fears and puts us in places that are nourishing (Psalm 23:2). Different people fear different things: flying, intimacy, public speaking, spiders, rejection, the dark, heights, commitment, failure, and many other things. Sometimes God removes us from terrifying situations, and other times he helps us learn the skills to face our fears.

Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus guides us. Jesus told his disciples that when he left, the Holy Spirit would come to guide them into truth. Today the Holy Spirit guides us in many ways including: through the Bible, other believers, desires he places in our hearts, and circumstances. We have to be willing to follow his guidance.

. He comforts us with his presence and protection (Psalm 23:4). We all face grief during our lives: the loss of friendships, jobs, pets, and family members. We don’t have to face our grief alone. We can allow our Good Shepherd to carry us through. He is true to the promises in the Bible. When we leave this world, we can look forward to spending eternity in heaven where there is no grief.

Jesus sustains us and provides for us when we face enemies and spiritual battles (Psalm 23:5). It is essential to spend time in God’s Word and in prayer, daily. If you would like ideas about what to do during your daily quiet time, please go to Appendix 3.

Jesus satisfies us and provides even more than we need (Psalm 23:5). Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and gives us the strength to live each day. Most of us have far more than the essentials of food, shelter, and clothing.

. Revelation 21 describes the new heaven and earth. We know that God will be there. We will have no need of the sun, because Jesus will be the light. We also know that those who believe in Jesus Christ for salvation will be in heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Jesus provides for us in amazing ways. He truly is our Good Shepherd.

Think About It

What do you appreciate most about having Jesus as your shepherd? Journal your thoughts, or respond in another way that is meaningful to you.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you care for me in so many amazing ways. Help me to trust you and follow your guidance in my life today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Check out my newest devotional book, Equipped. Ebook is available on Amazon! Dismiss